X Links


Scroll down for the following loose categories


In the press

These links are mainly recent – i.e. adding content as it emerges rather than being a comprehensive reference list. They are to illustrate how what sorts of ideas are emerging and how they are being presented


Traffic & car free visitor experiences

A car-free jaunt to the Lake District to hike a stretch of the coast-to-coast trail

OK, I’m biased as it’s my home patch, but this is another great article by Phoebe Taplin. “Great public transport in the Lakes means easy access to the famous trail…”. The current £2 fares makes all of this possible to so many more people.

Sark: The tiny, time-warp island with a wild swimming pool, hidden beaches and no cars

Victor Hugo described it as ‘a sort of fairy castle, full of wonders’

Ellen Manning, The Independent, June 5th 2023


I travelled around Britain on low-carbon transport. It was creaky – but magical

Even train delays and waits for buses felt worth it for the space to think and environmental benefits. Our public transport is full of untapped potential

Sophie Pavelle, The Guardian, July 12th 2023


Europe’s quiet summer resort where you can escape the heatwave – and other tourists

Try Gstaad and the valleys of Saanenland in which overnight guests can village-hop by train and bus, for free

Rachael Davies, The Independent, July 17th 2023


Integrated and/or free public transport

Norway’s Oil Capital Offers Free Public Transport to Locals.

Residents in Stavanger can now get free rides on buses, trains and local ferries via a mobile app.

Stavanger’s transit experiment places it in a growing vanguard of cities, and even countries, that have made buses, trains and trams free at point of use. The Estonian capital, Tallinn, is now in the 10th year of charge-free public transit for residents, a policy that has since been widely extended across the country. The French city of Dunkirk followed suit in 2014, while the Duchy of Luxembourg became the first country to abolish fares — for everyone, not just locals — across its entire area in 2020. Malta joined Luxembourg by making buses free across the country in 2022”.

Feargus O’Sullivan, Bloomberg, July 6th 2023


Estonia Will Roll Out Free Public Transit Nationwide. Meet the new world leader in fare-free living.

Feargus O’Sullivan, Bloomberg, May 17 2018


The fastest train in Europe will make you want to quit continental flights forever

Here’s why you should take Europe’s fastest, smoothest and quietest train for your next continental holiday.

Hannah Brown, Euronews, July 14th 2023


Overland, under budget.

How to save money when travelling by train in seven of the Continent’s greatest rail destinations

Connor McGovern, The Independent, June 3th 2023



Strategies, networks & accreditation systems


The Alpine Convention

The Alpine Convention (Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Slovenia, and Switzerland) is leading the way for sustainable life in the Alps and is a pioneer of its kind as the first international treaty aimed at the sustainable development and protection of an entire mountain range.


Austrian Ecolabel

Transport & Mobility part of the Austrian Ecolabel for tourism “Environmentally friendly arrival and departure and mobility in the tourism regions are the focus of the tourism experts from all over Austria.”

Swisstainable (In German, French & Italian)

As part of MySwitzerland – Switzerland’s national Destination Marketing organisation Swisstanable brings together Switzerland’s impressive transport and mobility systems as part of how places and destinations are presented. Where to start?

KONA (in German, French & Italian) – Schweizer Tourismus-Verband (Swiss Tourism Association) Centre for Sustainability Excellence across public, private and academic sectors. 5 aims: Knowledge building & knowledge transfer in the field of tourism sustainability; Pooling resources and creating synergies across the tourism sector; Networking through community building and mediation of relevant actors; Empowerment through tools to implement sustainability; Measuring and reporting on sustainability within the tourism sector

Klimalink (in German)

A Swiss-based “Travel footprint database” – “KlimaLink ensures a uniform calculation standard for the CO2e  emissions of travel. This gives you the option of comparing different forms of arrival and accommodation in terms of their climate impact and deciding on the most climate-friendly offer”


Global Sustainable Tourism Council

The Global sustainability standards in travel & tourism




Gent’s Tourism of the future (2020-25) sets out some pretty clear principles that would/should lead to decarbonisation – from encouraging longer stays to targeting areas that provide good rail and coach links to the city. The idea that it stems from Gent’s broader focus on liveability where public engagement is embedded in how policy is formulated gets interesting. It has certainly not been an easy transition for them, but my experience is that it is shaping up pretty well (see my blog here)

Alpine Pearls

19 “Softly Mobile Holiday in the Alps” Destinations (Austria (4), Germany (1), Italy (11), Slovenia (2)) including Werfenweng (Rail arrival, shuttle to accommodation, e-cars, e-taxis, e-bike, bikes & fun vehicles)


Austrian Ecolable destination. Arrival by train, shuttles & in-destination mobility integrated into destination marketing.


Long-standing traffic-free alpine destination


Car-free destinations in the Swiss Jungfrau region

Switzerland is located in the heart of Europe – and has one of the best railway networks in the world. It is served directly by international trains from over 12 countries. Within Switzerland, you can take direct trains from Zurich and Basel to Interlaken Ost – and thus to the Jungfrau Region


Travel services, integration, cards etc

Werfenweng Card

As a model location for soft mobility and with the guiding principle “All the time in the world”, two things are important to us: firstly, that you as our guest always have the opportunity to move around in an environmentally conscious way. And secondly, that you can fully enjoy your valuable time with us. That’s why we have developed a card that gives you great advantages in terms of soft mobility and colourful pastimes in summer and winter.


The SaastalCard (guest card) is available at most accommodations in the Saas Valley against payment of the visitor’s tax. With this card, you can use cable cars (excl. Metro Alpine) in summer and autumn and the post bus all year round in the vacation region for free. In addition, you benefit from numerous discounts on activities and in the parking garage in Saas-Fee.


Free with accommodation (via visitor levy). Free use of bus services in valley; free shuttles to Innsbruck for arrival/departure; numerous discounts, event access etc.

Südtirol Alto Adige Guest Pass – Mobilcard
“The Guest Pass facilitates holidaymakers’ the exploration of the Dolomites Region Seiser Alm as well as the wider region of South Tyrol, providing a single-ticket access to all types of public transport, such as train and bus.”

Gent CityCard

A good example of a paid-for visitor pass that combines transport and access to most attractions.

ÖBB luggage service

“Travel lighter for a great way to start your holiday!”

Austrian Railway’s door-to-door luggage pick-up & drop-off service

Swiss SBB luggage service

“You can have your luggage collected from any address in Switzerland or Liechtenstein. Just two days later, we will deliver your luggage to selected hotels or even straight to your holiday home in some locations – and back home again”


Some thinking on traffic restrictions

Is it time to start talking about traffic free National Parks again?

I wrote this in 2018 – really just a set of ideas on what is possible once traffic is removed – not about the politics or processes of managing the traffic restraint. I reference the seasonal Paris Plages creation – where a key urban road is given over to leisure users all summer as a temporary beaches along the Seine where “…people strolling along the quays can sit on the lawns and wooden terraces to enjoy this unique and unusual setting, of palm trees and sun umbrellas… A mobile library, book lending, and misters enable children to have fun while keeping cool… Tai-chi classes, ballroom dancing, petanque and off-site exhibitions… canoeing, zip-line descents, loans of comics and science workshops”.

How to Ghentify your city

Filip Watteeuw (Deputy mayor for Mobility, Public Space & Urban Planning) sets out the reasons for and the process of Ghent’s relatively rapid shift to being largely traffic-free over a fairly large central area. The focus on quality of life & place is clear.

1:36-36:23; key results slides at 12:00, 17:28, 19:42 (public perceptions)

Amsterdam Just Closed their Busiest Road.

Reflections on what it feels like when a key road is closed to traffic and how it functions. It’s interesting how it considers issues like the ease of passage of emergency vehicles against the likely reduction in accidents as a result of there being no traffic. I also like that it is being tried out so that it is completely removeable – so that people can experience what places could be like in terms of feel and function.